Against all the odds

White-coloured ve­hi­cles are less likely to crash in all types of light con­di­tions, re­ports PAUL GOVER.

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

FIRE en­gines used to be red. It was con­sid­ered the safest colour on the road, and the most vis­i­ble, but that was in the early days of mo­tor­ing, when al­most ev­ery­thing else on the road was painted black.

Th­ese days, fire en­gines are splashed with bright flu­oro yel­low af­ter a Euro­pean study showed it was the most vis­i­ble ( i.e safest) colour on the road.

But no-one buys flu­oro yel­low cars and the re­sults of an Aus­tralian study into the crash rank­ing of car colours is the best pointer to the ideal choice for a safe buy.

It is no sur­prise that white rates safest. Or that black is the least safe.

But the dif­fer­ence be­tween them is a 12 per cent higher chance of be­ing in­volved in a crash, ac­cord­ing to find­ings of the Monash Univer­sity Ac­ci­dent Re­search Cen­tre.

Grey cars also are a crash risk, 11 per cent worse than white, ahead of sil­ver at 10 per cent, then blue and red at 7 per cent.

The re­search was backed by the RACV, Vi­cRoads and the TAC and was com­mis­sioned af­ter con­cerns about the find­ings of a pro­gram in the US.

The dif­fer­ence is that the MUARC re­search tapped into the ex­ist­ing data­base of real-world crashes in­volv­ing death and in­juries, mak­ing it ar­guably the best and most com­pre­hen­sive study of its type.

“Pre­vi­ous in­ter­na­tional stud­ies have ex­am­ined ve­hi­cle vis­i­bil­ity and colour, but have not fully taken into ac­count other fac­tors that may have an im­pact on crash risk, such as driver de­mo­graph­ics,” lead re­searcher Stu­art New­stead said.

Re­search shows white-coloured ve­hi­cles have the low­est crash risk in all types of light con­di­tions.

“Car colour was found to have less in­flu­ence on crash risk in dark driv­ing con­di­tions,” he said.

Black Com­modore ute owner Nikki Ham­mon said the re­search re­sults wouldn’t af­fect her love of her cur­rent car or per­suade her to get an­other colour with her next car.

“I chose black be­cause it looks fan­tas­tic . . . any black car just looks great.

“It’s classy, it’s sleek, it’s sportier than other colours and has more pres­ence on the road.”

And the next car she goes shop­ping for?

“Black,” she said. “Def­i­nitely black.”

Her choice:

Nikki Ham­mon de­lib­er­ately chose a black-coloured car even though re­search shows it is the least safe colour.

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